The Ladybug wears no disguises.
She is just what she advertises.
A speckled spectacle of spring,
A fashion statement on the wing….
A miniature orange kite.
A tiny dot-to-dot delight.
– J. Patrick Lewis, “The Little Buggers”
Ladybugs were in the fridge the other day. Not used to seeing animal parts in my parent’s fridge alive or dead, I started and nearly dropped the bag of Ladybugs. It was almost as traumatic as when our neighbor put our dead pet mouse in the freezer. Blackie (who was black) died when we were away and our neighbor kept her frozen so that we could have a burial ceremony upon our return. Poor neighbor – how traumatizing to care for someone else’s pet when it dies on your watch…? Back from our trip and needing to get dinner on the table, I went straight for the fridge, deciding to make pasta with tomato sauce. No garlic. No onions…. But hang on, I had bought and frozen some garlic from Skipping Rooster Organic Farm. So to the freezer. I opened up an Olympic yogurt container, expecting to find frozen garlic. Instead, I found Blackie. I lost my equanimity and screamed in a piecing operatic lyric soprano high B and dropped poor dead Blackie on the ground.
After recovering from shock, I helped dad put the ladybugs on aphid infested plants: artichokes, tomatoes, nasturtiums.
Photo of dad by Li, Hao
Who needs toxic chemicals to kill aphids? Why poison the soil and spray toxins onto plants and into the atmosphere? Ladybugs native to North America, so elegantly, voraciously and colorfully do the trick.